However exciting large exhibitions may be, they are exhausting. Sooner or later the visitor needs somewhere to relax. On the South Bank the main restaurants and cafes each have their own small garden but, for reasons of space, the Exhibition’s chief place of relaxation and refreshment is the Festival Gardens in Battersea Park. A shuttle service of river boats makes it easy to get there.
These Gardens are the countryside, as it were, for the miniature city on the South Bank, where the planting of flowers and trees has been governed by the same needs that obtain in a town. So, every tree and plant has been placed to give refreshment to the eye, their colour and texture contrasting with the outlines of modern buildings and the hard surface of the roadways.
Less than a year ago there was only one tree on the South Bank site — and that was hidden. Now there are more than sixty, the newcomers having been brought in from the counties nearby. There are water elms, maples, limes and poplars, whitebeams, birches, a Catalpa, a Turkey Oak and many others that are quite new to this area that only recently was a swamp.
The shrubs and flowers are planted, as in a city, in boxes and tubs, bringing the colours of spring and summer to the streets and courtyards of the Exhibition. Maintaining the freshness of the grounds are fountains, and standing water reflects the iridescent colours of ornamental ducks.
The consultant landscape architect is H. F. Clark.